2+2 in Tokyo: With eye on China, India and Japan plan to strengthen defense ties

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence, Japan, Yasukazu Hamada and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi at the Joint Press Statement after the India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, in Tokyo on Thursday. (ANI Photo/ PIB)

India and Japan to promote a rules-based order, ensuring respect for international law and norms, and safeguarding the global commons: Jaishankar

Our Bureau
Tokyo/New Delhi     

India and Japan on Thursday agreed to conduct the inaugural ‘fighter exercise’ between the Air Forces of both the countries during bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo on Thursday. According to an official statement issued by the Defense Ministry, both countries acknowledged the importance of the India-Japan defense partnership and the critical role, it will play in ensuring a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.

During the delegation-level talks in Tokyo, Rajnath Singh highlighted the growing complexities in the India-Japan bilateral defense exercises as a testimony to the deepening of defense cooperation between the two countries and the need to expand the scope of partnership in Defense Equipment and Technological Cooperation.

The Ministers expressed their commitment to continuing bilateral and multilateral exercises including ‘Dharma Guardian’, ‘JIMEX’ and ‘Malabar’. They welcomed the operationalization of the Reciprocal Provision of Supply and Services Agreement during Exercise ‘MILAN’ in March this year, the statement read.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that the ties between the two countries have gained new meaning in recent years, adding that the second 2+2 Ministerial meeting demonstrates the commitment of both nations toward strengthening bilateral security, strategic aspects and defense cooperation.

He also said that the meeting exhibits the strength of the special strategic and global partnership while emphasizing that energy and food security have emerged as “particularly pressing issues”, which need a collective solution. “India-Japan partnership is of immense importance. It is rooted in our shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for the rule of law. The strategic aspects of the relationship have gained new meaning in recent years reflected in our recent bilateral & plurilateral engagements,” the EAM said in a statement during the opening remarks of the India-Japan 2+2 ministerial meeting in Tokyo.

Describing energy security and food security as pressing issues, Jaishankar stated “the COVID pandemic and ongoing conflicts demand that we address these new challenges. He also reiterated that India worked tirelessly in extending humanitarian aid, medicines, vaccines, foodgrains and many other forms of assistance as a responsible member of the international community and reaffirmed the importance of working collectively to find common solutions.”

“As responsible members of the International community, India worked tirelessly in extending humanitarian aid, medicines, vaccines, foodgrains and many other forms of assistance. As we face these challenges, it is important we work collectively to find common solutions through dialogue & diplomacy,” Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar also said India and Japan have the responsibility for ensuring a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific and that can be achieved through a range of policies and mechanisms, including cooperation in the Quad framework, utilization of ASEAN platforms and participation in bodies like ReCAAP, Supply Chain Resilience Initiative.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inspecting the guard of honour, in Tokyo on Thursday. Japan Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada is also seen. (ANI Photo/ PIB)

He further said, “Together, we are also poised to take forward the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, amongst others.” Jaishankar made this statement in his concluding remarks of the India-Japan 2+2 ministerial meeting in Tokyo.

India and Japan are committed to promoting a rules-based order, ensuring respect for international law and norms, and safeguarding the global commons, the EAM said. He noted that there is a need of creating resilient and reliable supply chains in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.

Also, Rajnath Singh on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo and reviewed various aspects of cooperation including regional affairs.

“Reviewed various aspects of bilateral defense cooperation and regional affairs during the bilateral meeting with Japan’s Minister of Defense, Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo today. This year marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet. “India and Japan pursue a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. India’s defense partnership with Japan will play a crucial role in ensuring free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific region,” he said further. The economic relationship between India and Japan has steadily expanded and deepened in recent years as the volume of trade between the two countries has increased manifold.

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